• Mountain Biking
Machynlleth is rapidly becoming recognised as one of the Mountain Biking Capitals of Europe. There are a number of speciality trails through the forest and over the mountains. Trails for beginners, the most experienced and the bravest! The famous Mach 1, Mach 2 and Mach 3. Mach 1 is a great starting point for beginners and gives you a taste of whats on offer, this is about 16 kilometres. Mach 2 is the in between one, taking you steeply upwards and wickedly fast downwards, testing out how good you and your skills are, 24 kilometres. Finally the Mach 3, hope you enjoy a thrill, it takes you way out into the wilderness, 'the chute' is the sharpest rocky trail imaginable, 30 kilometres.
The original Mach 1-3 trails take you as far out into the wilderness as you want to go on natural, but no less challenging trails. Meanwhile the more recent cli-machx trail winds you high into the Dyfi forest before firing you down superbly technical single-track descents that seem to go on forever.
Mach 1 is a great 'starting point so you get a taste of what is on offer'. This route takes you South West out of Machynlleth to the neighbouring village of Derwenlas and along the picturesque Llyfnant Valley. The route returns via the highest point of Bryn Coch Bach, the point where Mach 1, 2 and 3 meet, with a screaming descent back down to Machynlleth. A fast rather than technical 16km, although considerably more tricky in the wet.
Mach 2 is the 'middle-Mach, taking you steeply upwards and wickedly fast downwards - a great test of your skills'. This route takes you South East out of the town along the river Dulas and across open farmland where you ride along Glyndwr's WAy, made famous by the first prince of Wales, before dropping down to Talbontdrain. A steep climb up to the forest is followed by a long flowing descent to Bryn Coch Bach, and then the final descent of Mach 1.
Mach 3 is 'the route daddy, taking you out into the wilderness'. This route shares some trail with Mach 2, before heading off South through forest and onto the moorsbefore returning along some sweet track and grass descents. From the furthest point, the adventurous can take a spectacular cxross country ride all the way to Nant- Yr- Arian. The highlkight of the return leg is 'The Chute', very steep and very rocky, and to top it off - very dark.
The Cli-machx was built in 2005 by ecotrails and is sited in the Dyfi forest; home of the Howies Dyfi Enduro. It's a 15kmround trip, with 9km of built single track with compressions and whoops, rock slb drop offs and some beautiful flowing turns. The last descent is the longest in Wales and features rocky jumps; watch out for the 'eye of the needle'; a huge jump with a narrow landing between two trees on the other side. The final is a sequence of eight huge berms following quickly after each other. Hit them high enough and fast enough and they ride really well, but don't look down.
Even though you might be trying your hardest not to fall off, don't forget to enjoy those views!
Here is another hot spot for mountain bikers just the otherside of Aberystwyth. It has three tracks to offer, The Pendam Trail, The Summit Trail and The Syfydrin Trail.
The Pendam trail is the shortest of 6 miles and combines sections of the 'Summit' and 'Syfydrin' trails to give you a taste of the fantastic scenery, it does though include technically singletrack and some hard climbs.
The Summit trail is the middle one of ten miles, it offers superb views and riding on flowing twisty singletrack.
The Syfydrin trail is the big one of 22 miles, this takes you well off into the countryside with its fantastic swooping, flowing singletrack and it takes out onto the high open hills with superb views to stop and take in.
While you are at Nant-Y-Arian you can also enjoy plenty of walks in the forest and see the Red Kites being fed, a beautiful sight on a sunny day.